MAA Seaway Section Fall Meeting

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Dear Students,

The MAA Seaway Section meeting this Fall will be held at the University of Toronto Mississauga on October 12-13, 2018. The conference poster is attached here: MAA Seaway Section Fall Meeting.

Plenary speakers include:

– Dror Bar-Natan (University of Toronto)
– John Mighton
– Brian Forrest (Waterloo University)
– Jeffrey Rosenthal (University of Toronto)

For more details and to register, please check the conference website.

Groupe d’analyse/Analysis Group recruiting season at UofT

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Dear Students,

On behalf of Groupe d’analyse/Analysis Group, I invite you to learn about our firm during the 2018-2019 recruiting season at University of Toronto. We are looking forward to getting to know you, and to introducing you to our firm. Please note that knowing French is not a requirement to apply and we welcome interested applicants in undergraduate, masters, and PhD degrees (as we are hiring associates as well).

We have organized a series of events on campus that will allow you to get to know us, learn about the type of work that we do, and have fun along the way as well. We hope to get to know you as part of this process!

Please, see the event’s flyer here:

U of T Recruiting Flyer

Best Regards,

Doris Li, Research Professional


Career Fair

Date: Thursday, September 20th

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Location: Exam Centre, 255 McCaul St


Information Session

Date: Tuesday, September 25th

Time: 5:30-6:30pm

Location: Koffler Student Service Centre, Seminar Room, 214 College St

*Please note, the registration for our event has closed, but we still encourage you to attend the event.


Application Deadline

Date: Sunday, September 30th

To apply for the Research Professional position, please submit your resume, cover letter (including geographic preference), and unofficial transcript to the Career Service Department and through Groupe d’analyse/Analysis Group’s website:

U of T jumps three spots to place 12th in world for grad. employability

Note:  This message was copied from UofT news: UofT News Article

The University of Toronto is among the best universities in the world for graduate employability, a new independent study says.

U of T jumped three spots to place 12th in the world in the 2019 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, after jumping four spots in last year’s study, from 19th to 15th. Once again it was the highest-ranked university in Canada.

As well, U of T placed third among North American public universities and eighth among public universities worldwide.

“We are proud to be recognized once again among the top universities for employability,” says U of T President Meric Gertler. “This result reaffirms the excellence of a University of Toronto education, which is highly valued by employers around the world.”

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings cover more than 500 universities in its annual report.

London-based Quacquarelli Symonds Limited uses five weighted criteria in the ranking. The reputation of universities among employers counts for the most in the ranking, and is measured by the QS Employer Survey, with more than 30,000 responses. The other indicators are research collaborations with global companies, an analysis of high-achievers’ alma maters, the number of employers who have an active presence on campus and the graduate employment rate one year after graduation.

The other Canadian universities in the top 100 are the University of Waterloo (25th), the University of British Columbia (38), the University of Alberta (87) and McMaster University (93).

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology claimed the No. 1 spot this year, ahead of last year’s top-rated university, Stanford, and current No. 3, the University of California, Los Angeles.

It’s another strong result for U of T, which is the highest rated university in Canada and among the best public universities in the world in the five most prestigious international rankings: Times Higher Education, the QS World University RankingsShanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking and the National Taiwan University Ranking.

Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) program – A CCR certified activity

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Are you wondering where your degree will take you after graduation? The Department of Mathematics invites you to participate in the Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) program so you can meet alumni from your department, build your professional network and practice your networking skills. Upcoming events are listed below.


Workshop: Where will your Arts & Science degree take you? We’ve got a b2B for that this workshop will introduce you to the b2B (Backpack to Briefcase) program, explore the relationship between your program of study and employability skills, reflect on important experiences to identify transferable skills and identify at least one next step for your career exploration.


September 19 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm—Sidney Smith Hall, Room 1085
eptember 21 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm—Sidney Smith Hall, Room 1071


Register for one of these workshops here:


Speed Networking Nights – sit down with alumni from your area of study, ask them questions and hear their top tips and advice for making the transition out of University – what did they do after graduation, how did they do it, what did they learn, what could you do?


  • Social Sciences: September 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Jackman Humanities Institute, Room JHI 100, 170 St. George Street
  • Life Sciences: October 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, RW 010, Ramsay Wright Building, 25 Harbord St
  • Humanities: October 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Jackman Humanities Institute, Room JHI 100, 170 St. George Street
  • Math, Physical & Computer Sciences: October 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, RW 010, Ramsay Wright Building, 25 Harbord St


Register here:


Industry Nightsmingle with alumni from industries you’re interested in joining; enjoy delicious refreshments while building your professional network.


  • Careers in Government and Social Justice: November 14th, 6-8pm, Debates Room @ Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle
  • Careers in Business and Finance: November 14th, 6-8pm, Music Room @ Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle
  • Careers in Law: November 15th, 6-8pm, Debates Room @ Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle
  • Careers in Health Sciences: November 15th, 6-8pm, Music Room @ Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle


Register here:


We look forward to seeing you at upcoming b2B events – always feel free to get in touch if you have questions about the program!

p.s.  Full participation in the b2B program can be included on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

Office of Student Academic Integrity – Information Session

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Dear Student,

This is an invitation for you to attend an Academic Integrity session. This session will be executed by the University of Toronto, Academic Integrity Officers.

The team will use a series of cases to demonstrate issues on academic integrity.

Why am I receiving this?  We want you to know the facts on academic integrity!

  1. Do you know all the items that are classified as an academic offence, here at the University of Toronto?
  2. Have you attended an OSAI session at U of T?
  3. Are you aware of good practice habits while working in a math study group?
  4. Would you want to be found guilty of an academic offence because you did not know that this was an offence?

If you answered, “No” to any of these questions this OSAI session is for you.

Registration Link:

Please sign up at the Doodle link

Next Session:

Date:                    Thursday, September 20, 2018

Time:                    4:00-5:00p.m.

Location:             MP202

McLennan Physical Laboratories
255 Huron Street
Toronto, Ontario

Presenters:        Office of Student Academic Integrity, Administrators


Next Session:
                    Monday, September 24, 2018 (Date may change based on demand)

Time:                   3:00-4:00p.m.

Location:            TBA

Presenters:        Office of Student Academic Integrity, Administrators


Each year, several students are penalized for breaking the academic code of behavior in math courses and quite often, when they are questioned, the response is “I did not know.”  Do not let that be you.


Choose to become informed on this important matter and encourage your friends to attend.
Please remember to sign the register before leaving the room. You only need to attend one session.

Engineering Graduate Studies Fair @ University of Toronto | Tuesday, September 25, 2018


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Dear Math Students,

Looking beyond your current degree and considering graduate studies in Engineering? Join the Canadian Graduate Engineering Consortium on their national tour this fall at University of Toronto!

This engineering graduate studies fair brings together Canada’s top engineering schools to address the country’s urgent need for qualified engineers who can solve today’s most complex technical, social and environmental challenges.

Representatives will be available to answer any questions you have regarding graduate studies including:

  • How your degree may fit with Engineering
  • Funding/tuition
  • Finding a supervisor
  • Graduate student life
  • Program fit & and more

Become a specialist in an engineering field and expand your career opportunities. Find out how your degree translates into a graduate engineering degree for your future.

Register today to secure your spot:

Please bring your Student ID for Registration and food.

Attending universities: 

University of Alberta

University of British Columbia

McGill University

McMaster University

University of Toronto

Ryerson University

York University

University of Waterloo

Queen’s University

Project Universal Minds – A CCR Certified Activity

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Join Project: Universal Minds and VOLUNTEER to be a TUTOR for a high school student in the subject of your choice (Math, Science or English)! Commitment is an hour a week and is CCR CERTIFIED! For more info, come by our ASSU office (SS1068) or download the application form at:

Thank you!

Writing Support in FAS

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Dear Students,

1. You can find information about college writing centres at: The teaching approach of the college writing centres is described at:

2. The home page for the website “Writing at the University of Toronto” is You can use the navigation bar or the search function to find the relevant pages.
3. Writing Plus workshop series are described at: A flyer for this series is attached here: Writing Plus

4. Information about the English Language Learning program (ELL) is available at: The following activities can be of particular interest to you:
  • The Communication Cafe, which meets weekly at five different times and locations for the first seven weeks of each term for practice with oral skills like class discussion and presentations
  • Reading eWriting, an online program that helps students engage course readings more effectively.  You can also find further instructional advice files on this site. For more information, please contact the ELL Coordinator Leora Freedman at:

Count me in

The Count Me In! program has expanded this year from in-school teaching to hosting conference for teachers. The conference will be held on 22nd August for Elementary and Secondary school teachers.

The Conference will be held on Wednesday August 22nd, 2018 from 9:30am – 3:30 pm. It will take place at OISE (University of Toronto) located at 252 Bloor St. W. We are looking for ~20 volunteers to help with logistics, food distribution, ushering, assisting workshop leaders, etc. If you are interested in volunteering with this event, please sign up on the following Google Form:

Please see the Count on Me Math Institute poster for additional details.


Career Corner – Links to Articles on Building your Career

Please note that the comments in the article(s) are the opinions of the authors.

  1. Four things recruiters look for to size up candidates

U of T makes gains on list of universities with best global reputations

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As the University of Toronto’s Class of 2018 prepares to graduate, they can take pride in knowing their degree is from a university with one of the best reputations in the world.

Today, U of T placed 22nd in the world – and first in Canada – in an influential ranking of the world’s top 100 most powerful university brands. That’s two spots higher than last year on the list published by Times Higher Education (THE).

U of T ranked even higher at 11th among the top publicly funded universities in the world, tied with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich).

“This is more wonderful news for all of us at the University of Toronto,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “It is a remarkable accomplishment once again to be recognized in the top tier of the world’s best public and private universities.

“Our international reputation is built on the efforts of our faculty, staff and students – those efforts propel our world-class performance in teaching and the global impact of our research.”

Three Canadian universities were in the top 50 and all made gains in their placements this year, THE noted in a news release. The University of Toronto was followed by the University of British Columbia at 38 (up from 40) and McGill University at 41 (up from 42).

THE compiles its Top 100 global university brands from a survey of more than 10,000 senior academics around the world.

American universities continue to dominate the list, with 44 institutions in the Top 100. Harvard University is again in the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, followed by MIT and Stanford University.

“What is particularly striking is that the U.S. has actually strengthened its position…despite fears that the U.S. is suffering a ‘Trump slump’ in terms of its global reputation,” said Phil Baty, THE’s editorial director of global rankings, in a news release.

He also noted Chinese universities, which have advanced up the rankings strongly in recent years, appear to be stalling. China’s top universities – Tsinghua University and Peking University – stayed put at 14th and 17th, respectively, while other “stars from mainland China have slipped,” THE said.

“This new data shows just how hard it is for emerging powers to break into the traditional global elite,” Baty said.

In addition, for the first time in seven years, India has cracked the Top 100 with the Indian Institute of Science landing in the 91-100 band.

Overall, the University of Toronto continues to be the highest ranked Canadian university and one of the top ranked public universities in the five most prestigious international rankings: Times Higher Education, QS World Rankings, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, U.S. News Best Global Universities and National Taiwan University.

Steacie Prize, 2018

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Nominations are invited for The Steacie Prize in the Natural Sciences, 2018

The Steacie Prize is an award of $10,000 presented once a year to a scientist or engineer of 40 years of age or less for outstanding scientific research carried out in Canada. It is completely separate from the NSERC Steacie Fellowships.

Please see our attached poster:

Steacie Prize Poster2018

Nominations should be made by a colleague and sent by e-mail (*.doc and/or *.pdf files please) to . Deadline for receipt is June 30, 2018. The following should be included:

  • An introductory letter explaining why the candidate should be considered for the prize (please include the candidate’s year of birth)
  • A curriculum vitae with publication list
  • Names and e-mail addresses of 5 expert external referees who we will contact for evaluations.


Les mises en candidature sont invités à Le Prix Steacie en sciences naturelles

Le Prix Steacie est une récompense de 10 000$ remise une fois l’an à un scientifique ou un ingénieur âgé d’au plus 40 ans pour sa recherche scientifique exceptionnel effectué au Canada.  Il est complètement séparé des Bourses Steacie du CRSNG.

S’il vous plait, voir notre affiche ci-jointe:

Le Prix Steacie

Les nominations doivent être faites par un collègue et soumises par courriel (svp les fichiers *.doc et/ou *.pdf) à . La date limite de est le 30 juin 2018. Les éléments suivants devraient être inclus:

  • Une lettre de présentation expliquant pourquoi le candidat devrait être considéré pour le prix (s’il vous plaît inclure l’année de naissance du candidat)
  • Un curriculum vitae et la liste de publications
  • Les noms et adresses courriel de 5 experts examinateurs externes qui nous pouvons contacter pour les évaluations

GROW 2018

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You are invited to the 2018  GROW conference. This conference is aimed at female undergraduates who are thinking about pursuing graduate studies in mathematics.
This Fall the conference is organized by Sarah Koch, Mel Hochster, and Karen Smith and will be held at the University of Michigan on October 26-28, 2018. Here is the link to the conference webpage:

U of T researchers win prestigious NSERC awards

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The federal government is honouring two University of Toronto researchers in Ottawa today for their efforts to push the boundaries of human knowledge in the fields of chemistry and mathematics.

University Professor Lewis Kay is receiving the 2018 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal – the country’s highest honour for science and engineering – for his role in improving nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, the technology used to capture images of proteins within human cells.

Mathematics Professor Joel Kamnitzer is receiving a prestigious E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship to support his work exploring symmetry in mathematics and physics.

Kay, who is appointed to U of T’s departments of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular genetics and is a senior scientist at SickKids hospital, is the first U of T Herzberg winner since 2012 when University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cook was honoured for his work in computer science and mathematics.

Recent U of T Steacie fellowship winners include Associate Professor Raquel Urtasun, Professor Stephen Wright, Professor David Sinton, Professor Leah Cowen, Professor Aaron Wheeler and Professor Wei Yu.

“U of T is proud of the achievements of Professors Kay and Kamnitzer in the pursuit of advancing our understanding of how the natural universe operates, from the beginnings of disease to new advancements in mathematics,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation.

“We’re also grateful for the continuing support from the Government of Canada for basic, fundamental research that we know leads to transformational practical applications and that ignites curiosity in future generations.”

The Herzberg award, worth up to $1 million over the next five years, is for Kay’s “truly impressive technical breakthroughs” that allow us to “watch the smallest building blocks of life as they move, change and interact with one another over time,” the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) said in a news release.

His methodologies have had impacts for physicists and mathematicians, and his technologies are used in biochemistry and molecular biology labs around the world, setting the stage for breakthrough discoveries, NSERC said.

Read about Lewis Kay in the Globe and Mail

In the world of mathematics, Kamnitzer’s reputation is growing for his work in representation theory.

“It’s nice to get recognition for my work, especially since people outside of mathematics don’t always understand what we do,” he said.

A typical day for him, he said, can involve hanging out at a local coffee shop and writing out complex mathematical equations in a notebook when his blackboard is not handy, writing papers, teaching or Skyping with colleagues around the globe – think Russia and Japan – who are also pondering the symmetries of objects and their rotations.

For example, picture a sphere floating in the air. It can rotate in any direction, at any angle and in any order. The collection of all these possible rotations is a Lie group.

Lie groups also appear as symmetries of elementary particles, such as electrons and protons. The different particles and their many states come in patterns predicted by representations of Lie groups.

Mathematicians like Kamnitzer are involved in the cutting edge of supersymmetric quantum field theories, which predict surprising relationships between different geometric objects related to Lie groups.

His work seeks to understand these predictions and use them to solve important mathematical problems. It also contributes to finding the correct mathematical framework for theoretical physics.

With his Steacie, Kamnitzer will be able to take a two-year sabbatical to deep dive into his research, as well as use $250,000 in grant money to hire students and postdoctoral researchers, and travel to meet with other leading experts in the field.

Grad School Q&A

Note: This is copied from an email communication

March 26, 2018

Graduate School Application Roundtable Talk


  • These responses are the opinions of the participating panel.
  • These notes from the Information Session, were captured Lilly, an undergraduate student.

Q: How long in advance should we start preparing for grad school applications?

Usually, you should submit applications in before the December deadline of the current year to apply for graduate school that starts September of the following year.

Q: What are the weights on GRE, reference letters, CGPA, personal statement in terms of admission?

  • GRE
  • Not required for Canadian schools (does not matter whether you have it or not)
  • Required for US schools (depending on which school you are applying to. Some schools care more but some schools care less.)


  • Reference letter
  • Important


  • CGPA
  • The most important component
  • Not only the grades matters, but also what courses you took
  • There’s no cut-off grades, but better be grades for important math courses
  • Only math courses will be looked at (doesn’t really matter if you fail a physics class)
  • Usually they would look at the 10 most advanced math courses on your transcript and drop the lowest two


  • Personal statement
  • If you prepare a generic statement then it becomes the least important component
  • Shouldn’t be more than 1 page unless there are stories that are very interesting
  • Make sure there’s no spelling or other grammatical mistakes
  • Becomes very relevant when there’s something special about your story (e.g. had 5 years gap during undergrad; already had a PHD in physics and now want to do another PHD in math, etc…)
  • Very important if the school you are applying to allows the future supervisor to make the decision

Q: How useful would doing research be in terms of applying for grad school?

It is a plus, but not a necessary thing. Math is a very specialized discipline, so it is very rare to see undergrads doing serious research. But if you can win the USRA award, then definitely include it in your application.


Q: How does one find research opportunities in undergraduate?

Walk around the department, knock on doors, ask professors, “Do you have a summer project?” or “Could you supervise me in a reading course?” Usually it is comparatively difficult to become engaged in research opportunities in the Department of Mathematics. You should take the time to review the research interest of the professor that you would like to work with.  You may also have conversations with your professors after class, and talk about interesting questions related to the course material and introduce interesting topics that you would want to explore further.


Q: How useful would math competitions be in terms of applying for grad school?

Similar to research, it is a plus, but not a necessary thing. They are looking for your strengths, not a fulfilling a check list. It’s fine for not having research or competitions results.


Q: Is it encouraged to do PHD at another school?

It is recommended because by doing so you will be seeing other perspectives, learning more cultures etc. However, if you have a good personal reason to stay here (e.g. because your families are here etc.), it is also good to stay.


Q: Should we apply for master first or apply for Ph D directly?

  • In US: apply for the Ph D directly
  • In Canada: usually you should apply for masters first, and when you get admitted, you will also be admitted to the Ph D program automatically (conditional offer)

Some countries offer 3 years Ph D programs (e.g. some universities in UK), but there are also some countries that offer 1 year master + 5 years PHD programs.

  • the longer may be the better
  • when applying for post doc, what matters is not how long you’ve been studying math since elementary school, but how many years you have studied since PHD. So you may have some disadvantages by taking the “fast lane”


Q: About applying for grad school and stating a particular professor that you would like to work with?

Make sure that the prof you are aiming for is actually working there. Sometimes their names may be listed as faculty members, but they are not actually permanently employed at that institution.


Q: If I want to do grad school for applied math (e.g. finance or physics). During undergrad, should I take more applied courses or should I take more pure math courses?

For most applied programs, the process of admission could be very different comparing to math programs. For some applied programs, you may even need to contact your potential supervisor because quite often the decision is made by them.


Q: Are there any advantages for taking most advanced math course (e.g. MAT157, 257, 357)?

Specialists have many advantages comparing to math majors. In the reference letters details are usually provided about the content of the courses as it is here that the applicant’s university will learn of the strength of the applicant.


Q: Does a 4th year statistic student still have chance to get into grad school for math?

What’s important is which courses you have taken. As long as you have all the necessary courses (algebra, analysis, topology), then it is possible.


Q: What are the necessary courses?

MAT327H1    Introduction to Topology

MAT347Y1    Groups, Rings and Fields

MAT354H1    Complex Analysis I

MAT357H1    Foundations of Real Analysis

MAT457H1    Advanced Real Analysis I

APM421H1    Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics


Q: How to explore interests?

  • Take courses
  • Talk to professors and students
  • Be involved

It is actually harmful to decide too early, which field of mathematics you want to study. If you decide too early, you are sort of preventing yourself from exploring your true self.


Be ready to get rejection letters and do not be too offended when you get a few rejection letters.







6th Heidelberg Laureate Forum, September 23-28, 2018


Calling Outstanding Young Researchers!


The 6th HLF will take place from September 23 to 28, 2018 (with young researcher registration on September 22).

The online application tool for the 6th Heidelberg Laureate Forum is now opened. The deadline for applying is February 9, 2018 (midnight at the dateline).



International Indigenous Funding Opportunities and Summer Abroad The Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Application link: